Photo show highlights local governance in merged areas

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GIZ Pakistan and the Embassy of Germany in Islamabad jointly launched on Thursday a photo exhibition on the merged areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) to mark the German-Pakistan development cooperation.

The week-long exhibition is showcasing the efforts of integrating the Merged Areas into KP, the region’s rich culture and potential as well as Germany’s support to its Pakistan counterparts in local governance, health and education.

Some 150 representatives and officials of the KP Government and its line 4 departments, the German Embassy, the European Union, donor agencies, Members of KP’s Provincial Assembly, implementing and development partners, academia as well as the media attended the inaugural ceremony of the show.

Pictures expressed hope for a better future as various photographers have contributed to this photo exhibition, most notably Abdul Majeed Goraya of Peshawar and Alamgir Khan of Mohmand. Their pictures show people following their trades, earning their livelihoods and striving to provide their children with a better future.

The photographs also illustrated an emerging local governance system, community development initiatives, women standing up for their rights, and improvements in the education and health sectors.

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, guest of honor, Shahram Khan Tarakai, Minister of Elementary and Secondary Education of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa expressed his gratitude to the German Government and the European Union for their support to the province in various fields of development. The Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa highly values the partnership with GIZ Pakistan and the joint work in areas such as good governance, education and health, he said, adding, “This has led to major changes in the lives of the tribal people and contributed to reducing the development lag.” Tarakai highlighted, “Our cooperation has also enhanced public trust in government institutions and has helped to improve public services.” Among the important achievements, he listed improved school curricula, the training of over 5,000 members of Parent’s Teacher Councils, capacity development for over 3,000 managers in the health and education sectors as well as training of several hundred officials of the Local Government Department.

Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, Alfred Grannas, highlighted that the photo exhibition and its catalogue not only offer vibrant insights into the region’s history, its rich and diverse culture and traditions but also into the lives of the people and their development needs.

He pointed out that during the long-standing and successful development cooperation between Germany and Pakistan over a period of 60 years, countless development projects had been implemented. The cooperation had over the decades been continuously adapted to meet new challenges and changing social, economic and ecological conditions, he said.

“The FATA Development Programme is also an example of joint European efforts in the field of development.